Police launch anti crack campaign

ESSEX Police Assistant Chief Constable Liam Brigginshaw will take to the streets todayto launch a summer-long campaign against the menace of crack cocaine.

ESSEX Police Assistant Chief Constable Liam Brigginshaw will take to the streets todayto launch a summer-long campaign against the menace of crack cocaine.

The force has teamed up with Crimestoppers to launch Crack Under Pressure, a campaign aimed at highlighting the issues around dealing and using crack.

The campaign aims to reach three groups of the county's community, the general public, young people and drug users.

Dealing and use of the Class A drug has multiplied rapidly in the UK over the last decade and users in Essex spend between £200 and £2,000 a week on the highly addictive drug.


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In the UK in 1990, there were 316 seizures of crack by police, totalling 0.6kg. By the turn of 2000, seizures were up to nearly 3,000, with 25.2kg of the drug recovered.

With the markets of the West Midlands and London close to saturation, dealers are now attempting to make inroads into the county. It is this situation which ACC Brigginshaw is determined to stop in its tracks.

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He said: "London has the largest crack problem in the country and it is estimated uses 55% of the total supply. With our close proximity to London and easy access routes we are a prime target for the dealers to expand.

"An increase in the use of crack ruins communities; there is an increase in crime, shoplifting, burglary from cars and peoples homes as well as robbery and theft.

He added: "The Crack Under Pressure campaign highlights the problems that we will all suffer if crack use in Essex is not tackled head-on."

Research has shown the use of crack is growing across Essex. There is also a correlation between the increase of these drugs and an increase in crime.

Isabel Cross from the charity Crimestoppers said: "It is important for everyone to be aware of crack. It is a highly addictive and addicts maintain their habit through crime. They may shoplift, burgle your home or steal something from your car worth hundreds of pounds and sell it for their next hit which costs £10 or £20.

"Dealers are key to the drugs scene, information about dealing can be passed anonymously to the police via the Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 number."

Assistant Chief Constable Brigginshaw, will be in Backnang Square at the Meadows Shopping Centre, Chelmsford, at 12.30pm to launch the campaign.

Internet link: www.crackunderpressure.com

Drugs information: www.talktofrank.com

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